It Gets Better With Time: Enhancement of Age-Related Positivity Effect in the Six Months Following a Highly Negative Public Event

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Abstract

Age is associated with shifts toward more positive memory retrieval. The current study examined these shifts following a negative public event. Participants completed two surveys examining emotional responses to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, one immediately following the attack and another 6 months later. Age was associated with different effects of time on how individuals reflected on this event. Time was associated with an increased focus on negative components in young adults but a decreased focus in older adults. These findings reveal a role of time in age-related positivity effects.

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